Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Two are cleared of murdering baby

The mother of an abused 17-month-old baby boy and her house guest have been cleared of the child's murder.

The north London toddler suffered a catalogue of injuries, including a broken back, and died in August 2007.

An Old Bailey judge ruled the 27-year-old woman, who cannot be named, and Jason Owen, 36, had no case to answer.

Judge Stephen Kramer said there was insufficient evidence against both. Her boyfriend, who denies murder, continues to stand trial.

The woman, who had pleaded guilty to causing or allowing the death before the trial started, was remanded in custody.

Broken ribs

She will be sentenced on 15 December and could be jailed for up to 14 years.

A court order prevents the identification of the baby's mother and her boyfriend, who are from Haringey.

The trial against the boyfriend on the murder charge and against Owen for allegedly causing or allowing the boy's death continues.

The men, who deny the charges, have yet to testify in court.

The decision came at the end of evidence being given in the two-month trial and followed defence submissions.

The trial heard the toddler, who was on a child protection register in Haringey, north London, was "used as a punchbag" and had injuries including broken ribs and a missing tooth.

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